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Copyright 1995-2014 by Celtic Studio

CREST: A hand holding a writing quill Proper.
MOTTO: Favente deo supero
TRANSLATION: By God's favour I conquer
PLANT: Unknown
Mitchell History

Mitchell is a surname found in all countries where folk from Scotland (among the top 20 Scottish surnames), Ireland and England have settled. Strongly represented in Scotland's NE regions it is also well represented in New Zealand and Australia. There are places named after prominent Scots settlers and explorers named Mitchell, more so in Australia than New Zealand. A person named Mitchell was a prominent explorer in Australia and consequently there are many places where the name recalls recognition of achievements. Mitchell Highway, Mitchell Library , Mitcheltown, etc.... On New Zealand's West Coast (South Island), a place called Mitchell's Gulley can still produce gold in small quantities.

The name Mitchell has spread fairly well in modern times. In 1995 it was the 15th most common name in Scotland. A considerable number of people with the name were in Ayrshire and Galloway. It is well now represented in the North East of Scotland and is also in the top 25 most common names in New Zealand. The name has a strong following in Northern Ireland, England, and Australia.

The surname Mitchell is derived from the name Michael, said by some sources to have been introduced to Scotland by the Normans. As were many Scottish names. However the name is older than the Normans (French: Michel) and may well have been in Britain in some form, long before the Normans came. The name Michael is considered Hebraic in origin, and is associated with the Bible and Christian beliefs (The Archangel Michael etc..) and is popular throughout Christendom. The meaning of the ancient Hebrew name Michael is "with the likeness of God"or "one who is like God". The ancient Christian Cuildigh (Culdee) Church was present in Britain (Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and Kernow, before the Romans, and in areas well beyond Roman control. In fact long before any of Britain and Ireland was considered to have the Roman Catholic faith or any of the protestant faiths, and before England ever existed as united "English"nation. For that matter, even before either "Scotland"or "Ireland"existed as united nations. Logically Michael and it's derivatives would have been present in the British Isles long before the Normans came, or even the Romans.

The "t"was introduced into the spelling to signify the "ch"was a hard sound "tch"rather than the soft "sh"sound as used in the French pronunciation (after a short "i"vowel sound as in the word "it"). In the English use of the name Michael, the "ch"is vocalised as a "k"sound following a long "i"vowel sound. The surname Michael may also have "ch"pronounced as in loch. Use of Mitchell as a forename is also quite popular now and is often used in New Zealand, Orkney and Galloway. In Orkney the name Michael is pronounced with the "ch"as "tch"so phonetically it sounds like Mitchell. Also the Harray church of St Michael is known locally as "St. Mitchell's church. Spellings can be considered less important than the phonetics as often people could not spell and simply wrote down how a name sounded like to them.

Mitchell as a name is often shortened to "Mitch"as a nickname. Michael is often shortened to Mick, or Mike but these variations do not apply to Mitchell. The name MacMichael (son of Michael) is the source of many Scottish Mitchells. The Lanarkshire territorial name of Carmichael is often given as an alternative rendering.

One thing that is certain, people with Mitchell as their surname, like it. It sounds positive and strong without being harsh. Mitchell is also an adoptive name with people known to have selected it by deed-poll, and even to replace hard to pronounce Viking/Manx names. So use of the name expands through generations by birth and adoption, and deed poll, as has happened with surnames throughout history.

Surname variations are; MacMichael, MacMichell, Mechel, Meitchel, Michell, Michill, Michie, Michison, Mitchal, Mitchell, Mitchel, Mitchelson, Mitchellson, Mitchison, Mitchol, Mitschael, Mitsschal, Mittchel, Mychell, Mytchell. There is also a Norwegian spelling, Mitzel from Scots immigrants to Norway. Derivatives of the name are not all associated with Clan Innes or Clan MacDonald of Keppoch.

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Copyright 1995-2014 by Celtic Studio
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